EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 7, 2013

Lawrence police nab suspect in Salem robbery

By Jo-Anne MacKenzie
jmackenzie@eagletribune.com

---- — SALEM, N.H. — It didn’t take long for police to track down an armed robbery suspect who allegedly threatened a Lowe’s employee with a syringe Tuesday morning.

Lawrence police arrested Victor Deleon, 39, on Cedar Street yesterday, police Chief John Romero said.

Salem police have a warrant for Deleon on a felony charge of armed robbery for an incident there Tuesday. But Salem, Mass., police also have a warrant for him for nighttime break and entering, according to Lawrence Detective Thomas Cuddy.

Deleon is due to be arraigned in Lawrence District Court this morning.

If he waives extradition, he could be in Salem, N.H., later today to answer to the charge stemming from the incident at Lowe’s, or he could first go to Salem, Mass., to answer to the charge there.

Deleon and Victor Garcia, 32, also of Lawrence, are suspects in an attempted theft of saw blades from the Lowe’s store on South Broadway Tuesday morning.

When approached by a store security worker, Deleon allegedly waived a hypodermic needle at the employee and yelled, “I have AIDS” several times, according to Salem Deputy police Chief Shawn Patten.

The store worker backed off and the two suspects fled the store. Store employees were able to get the license plate from the getaway car and Lawrence police put the pieces together yesterday.

The registered owner of the vehicle identified Deleon as the man captured in store surveillance video.

Deleon offered no resistance when police found him at 48 Cedar St. in Lawrence, yesterday, Romero said.

Garcia remained at large as of late yesterday.

He faces charges of criminal liability for the conduct of another, felony theft and breach of bail conditions. Garcia was arrested Jan. 21 in Salem for willful concealment stemming from another shoplifting incident there, Patten said.

He credited the work of Salem Officer Nick Turner and the cooperation of Lawrence police for Deleon’s arrest.

“We really appreciate the effort from and collaboration with the Lawrence police force to identify and track (Deleon) for us,” Patten said yesterday.

He said his department would have detectives in court in Lawrence this morning, who would be prepared to take Deleon back with them if he waives extradition.